Attracting new customers is at the heart of every successful business. Whether it is newly launched or has been operating for over 10 years, without new customers your business will not grow and become more profitable. Even well-established global brands that are household names are constantly looking for ways to tap into new markets and gain new customers, whether it is trying to appeal to a different section of society or expanding into a new country.
How to Gain New CustomersAs a small business owner you probably cannot afford to spend lots of money on expensive marketing and advertising campaigns, and you’re unlikely to have the resources to research and manufacture new products. Instead you’ve got be smart with the resources you have.
So how can a small business owner gain new customers easily and cost-effectively?
Marketing and brandingAs a business owner you already know the importance of having a good marketing strategy and branding. However, once you’ve been running your business for a while it can be difficult to keep your marketing fresh and interesting. If you find yourself in this situation consider setting up a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy that will not only improve your brand image, but will also give you something to send press releases about. You can start small by organising a fundraising event, or making sure you recycle as much of your company’s waste as possible.
Also ensure that your brand looks fresh and modern, even internationally recognised brands will tweak their branding every so often to keep it relevant. Don’t be shy about your rebranding either, instead use it as an opportunity to promote how your business is adapting to meet modern demands, this may help potential customers to consider using your services or products.
Social mediaUnless you have locked yourself in a technology-free office for the past decade, you will know that social media is now one of the key ways of attracting new customers while also communicating with existing ones. Although there are some pitfalls to be aware of when engaging in social media, there are nevertheless numerous benefits, including the fact that it is free and easy to use, while also helping you to reach a wide demographic of potential new customers.
Although you are unlikely to have the money available to set-up large scale social media marketing campaigns, using social media to attract customers has been around long enough for there to be numerous books, articles and professional advice available to help ensure you get your social media strategy right. Not only is social media a good way of promoting your business but also for engaging with customers and should be seen as another form of customer service.
NetworkingEven if your business is new, you will have an idea of what your customer demographic is, use this knowledge to network in the right places. Some business owners have built their entire companies through networking and even if your business isn’t a B2B it is still a key way of gaining new customers.
Networking gives customers the chance of meeting you, the human face behind the business and brand, which for a small business owner could be the important distinction between you and large, multi-national corporations. Put simply, people are more likely to trust, and therefore do business with, those they have met face-to-face.
As well as this, networking gives you the opportunity to meet other business owners and get tips and advice from your peers on how to improve your business and gain more customers.
Customer serviceOffering great customer service will help to set your business above your competitors. This is one of the most simple aspects of running a successful business, but also one that so many business owners let slip. Make sure that every customer, whether they are new to the company or have been with you for over five years, are treated professional and friendly way, as well as a valued customer. Always keep in mind that without customers your business wouldn’t exist.
If a new customer experiences great customer service not only are they likely to come back, but they will also be more willing to recommend your business to friends and family.